Job interviews can be among the most nerve-wracking experiences that some of us will have. Even if it all goes smoothly on the day, there are ways to avoid unnecessary worry beforehand. We’ve mentioned before how looking your best can help to create a good impression and now, we’ve decided to go one step further and bring you some alternative job interview tips. 


After all, when you really want to get that job, you’re prepared to use any method that will help you be at your best in the interview. As such, we’ve spoken to a hypnotherapist, an aromatherapist and an expert in NLP to get some tips on how you can conquer your nerves and really shine. 


Firstly, it might be useful to understand exactly what happens to us when we get nervous about an employment interview. Hypnotherapist Slavka Craig holds a 1st class degree in Psychology. She explained to us just what people are experiencing when they worry about an upcoming interview. 


“Job interview nerves can also be called ‘performance anxiety’, the same kind of nerves that can affect performers or sportspeople. In fact, people in any walk of life are likely to experience it at some stage. You can go through negative emotions, apprehension and worry – usually about things that haven’t actually happened yet. Sometimes understanding things can help you to control them though. There are 3 elements to anxiety for instance; physical (things like sweaty palms, pounding heart, shortness of breath), mental (excessive worrying, moments when your mind just goes blank) and emotional (how you respond emotionally to the situation – feeling scared, panicky). Realising what’s happening to you and why will help you to tackle all three things.” 


Nobody wants to risk a handshake being ruined by sweaty palms, answers being wiped from your memory by going blank or experience a feeling of panic midway through an interview that could shape your future. What steps can we take to avoid this though? Aromatherapist Gillian Rankine has some advice. 


“The properties of the oils can be used in various forms – the most common being massage – to assist with a vast range of psychological and physiological conditions both medical and non-medical. However, it is very important when being treated with essential oils that you always seek the knowledge of a qualified Holistic Practitioner, also known as a Complementary Therapist, since the oils through their application are absorbed into the bloodstream. It is therefore very important your Complementary Therapist carries out a full medical consultation to be able to identify what the dilution ratio should be for you personally. 


Essential oils can be used in a variety of forms at any time of the day or night and there are various oils which can benefit feelings of anxiety, nervousness and even panic such as Basil, Lavender, Chamomile and Jasmine.   


These oils are just a few examples which would aid with feelings of anxiety and nervousness. They are perfectly safe to use at any time of the day or night as and when required.” 


Of course, aromatherapy isn’t the only way to calm an anxious mind, as Slavka explains. 


“I would suggest practising the 7/11 breathing technique, as it clears the head and allows you to ‘centre’ yourself and relax. Count to 7 on the inhale and to 11 on the exhale; the key is making sure the exhale is longer than inhale. The effect will be to relax you physically, which will then be followed by mental relaxation too. 


Also, a few days before the interview, it may be a good idea to sit somewhere quiet, take some deep breaths and mentally rehearse the interview. Try to get as clear a picture and sense of your feelings as possible – imagine yourself being calm, composed and relaxed, responding to questions in a confident manner. Rehearse it a few times – the brain engages the same areas that are involved when we are doing something as when we are just imagining doing it. That’s why the mental rehearsal of activity is used a lot in sports or business, for example.” 


Preparation is obviously key but what can you do to during the interview to ensure that you make the best impression possible? Making the best impression possible is something that NLP expert Steven Mills is used to advising on. But just what exactly is NLP? 


“Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is the study of how human beings make sense of their worlds. It is a powerful change management tool that transforms the way people think and act. This can have a beneficial impact on users, both professionally and personally.” 


So how would Steven suggest applying the principles of NLP to aid the chances of a successful interview? 


“Good strong positive words communicate effectively; it’s not just what you say, it is how you say it. Be clear in your communication, don’t rush what you are saying. Take your time and listen to the question being asked, don’t anticipate what you’re going to say halfway through the question being asked. Actively listen, then respond to the question. Mirror the tone of the interviewer, acknowledge mannerisms, nod when they nod, use open palm gestures to emphasise your points and finally, lean in for a better connect. All of these tips will help you to build rapport and come across confidently.”